Learner charged with concealment of birth

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John Muyamba

Rundu-New Era has it on good authority that a Grade 10 learner at Rukonga Vision School in Divundu is under police investigation for ‘concealment of birth’ after she had a miscarriage in the school hostel. The school only enrols high-performing learners.

A case was opened after the post-mortem results following the child’s death were received by the investigating officer.

“The reason we opened the case is because of what happened after she noticed the foetus in the toilet pot. It’s not because it was a miscarriage. It’s not a crime to have a miscarriage, these things happen but it’s what she did after that,” said the Kavango East regional crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Willie Bampton.

According to Bampton it was reported to the police in the evening of February 9 that a learner from Rukonga Vision School had a miscarriage after she experienced some pains in her stomach and went to the toilet to relieve herself.

While in the toilet she realised she was bleeding whereafter she allegedly flushed the toilet and to her surprise she realised there was a foetus in the toilet that could not be flushed away. She then took it out of the toilet and threw it in a manhole just behind the school hostel block that evening.

“And it seems it was not covered and was discovered by another learner the next morning. The latter then ran to a worker to report that she had found a foetus in the manhole. He called the police,” Bampton said.

The police took the Grade 10 learner to Andara hospital since she was still bleeding and the foetus was taken to Andara hospital mortuary.

“Since she was still bleeding our members took her to hospital – she could not hide the bleeding and needed medical help,” Bampton explained.

A post-mortem concluded it was a pre-mature birth at 28 weeks and the foetus was already dead before it came out of the womb.

“The reason why we have opened a case against her for ‘concealment of birth’ is because if she could have reported the incident when she saw the foetus in the toilet pot and not tried to hide it, things on her side could be different,” Bampton added.

“She could have reported it to teachers or anyone working at the hostel and they could have informed us to take care of the foetus and also take her to hospital, and it would have been legal not to try to hide the foetus the way she did,” he said.

“Normally the police do not make arrests in such cases, that is why the learner was left to go back to school. It is a case of when the police are done with their investigations they will send their findings to the prosecutor general for a decision on whether to prosecute or not,” said Bampton.

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